The Giant Burrowing Insect was a species of large, carnivorous burrowing insect from the future.


Giant Burrowing Insects appeared to measure between seven and ten feet long, with two shovel-like forelimbs and six smaller, crab-like legs. The Insects also each had two mandibles and two plates in front of their faces, a pair of antennae, a white, flesh face with a small mouth, and an armour-plated, armadillo-like back. They were burrowing creatures, capable of burrowing networks of underground tunnels and digging up onto or down from the surface, although they apparently couldn't burrow through concrete. The Burrowing Insects were also carnivorous; hunting animals like humans by vibrations, to attack, kill and store them as food.

Giant Burrowing Insects lived in colonies of approximately fifty. The hibernating periods of the Burrowing Insects copied those of modern day insects; they burrowed a large network of underground tunnels, and used an existing structure that the network connected to as a nest. At this nest, the Burrowing Insects would go into hibernation during the winter, remaining dormant until the weather heated up. The first Insect to awake would then leave the nest and enter the tunnels to collect food for the rest of the colony once they awoke.


A dead Burrowing Insect scout. (Episode 5.1)

The Giant Burrowing Insects' armour plating was very resistant to bullets and EMD shots, with the latter barely so much as slowing the Insects down. However, a Burrowing Insect's face and underbelly was unprotected by its exoskeleton, making it possible to fatally injure the Insects by firing multiple projectiles into their faces. (Episode 5.1)

Incursions and encounters

Episode 5.1 At some point pre-2011, a colony of approximately fifty Giant Burrowing Insects came through an Anomaly into London in the present day. The Insects then burrowed a network of underground tunnels beneath the city, and went into hibernation in an under-construction supermarket.

At around spring in 2011, one of the Burrowing Insects awoke from hibernation and searched the underground tunnel network for food for the rest of the colony once they woke up. When a worker accidentally created a hole in the street into one of the Burrowing Insects' tunnels during roadworks outside the supermarket, the scout Insect attacked him and took him back to the colony to be cocooned as food.


A hibernating nest of Giant Burrowing Insects. (Episode 5.1)

Later, Matt Anderson, Abby Maitland and Hilary Becker arrived at the scene of the attack, and climbed down into the tunnel. There, the scout Burrowing Insect returned for the trio. They tried to take the creature down with their EMDs, but the shots only slowed the Insect down due to its armour plating, forcing the three to flee to the surface.

The Burrowing Insect scout next surfaced at a backyard barbeque, attacking one of the neighbours and dragging him underground back to the nest. When the Anomaly Research Centre team arrived, Matt used vibrations from a lawnmower to successfully draw the Burrowing Insect back up. It resurfaced, but due to Connor Temple's untimely arrival, the creature was able to drag Connor back underground with it; but not before being shot several times with firearms in its unprotected face.

5x1 InsectBurns

A Burrowing Insect being incinerated by a gas explosion. (Episode 5.1)

The Giant Burrowing Insect then returned to the nest with Connor, and died of its wounds before it could cocoon Connor. Connor then discovered the rest of the colony, still in hibernation, and unintentionally disturbed them while turning on the building's gas. As the creatures begin to awake, Matt arrived, and he and Connor retreated back to the shopping centre's underground level with one of the Burrowing Insects following close behind.

However, before the Insect could capture Matt and Connor, the ARC team detonated explosives which ignited the gas in the building and wiped all the Burrowing Insects out.



Connor being dragged underground by a Giant Burrowing Insect. (Episode 5.1)

  • This was the first creature from the Sterile Earth Future to appear in Primeval (discounting Matt and Gideon).
  • Like the Camouflage Beast and Megopteran, it was never mentioned what modern species the Giant Burrowing Insects were/could have been descended from; though Cricket Moles were supposedly what the insect was based on.